Polish Prime Minister Promises Support to Belarusian Athlete Timanovskaya
© AP Photo / Daniel KozinIn this photo taken from video, Belarus Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya speaks during a video interview with the Associated Press in Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.
© AP Photo / Daniel Kozin
WARSAW (Sputnik) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki offered solidarity and support to Kristina Timanovskaya, an Olympic sprinter from Belarus who refused to return home after completing her performance in Tokyo, in a phone call held on Tuesday.
"I talked to brave Kristina Timanovskaya. I assured her that she can rely on the support and solidarity of the Polish people," Morawiecki wrote on Twitter.
The athlete will soon fly to Warsaw, where she may continue to improve herself without any limits, Morawiecki added.
The scandal around Timanovskaya erupted in late July. The athlete was supposed to take part in the women’s 100m and 200m sprints. However, her coaches decided also to involve her in the 4 x 400m relay after two Belarusian athletes were found to be ineligible to compete due to insufficient drug testing. The sprinter lamented the decision on social media, as she was not ready to take part in this competition.
The National Olympic Committee of Belarus said the coaching staff of the Belarusian athletics team decided to send the sprinter home due to her emotional and psychological state. Timanovskaya said the Belarusian authorities "forcibly" tried to make her return home, adding that she will seek asylum in Europe.
On Monday, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said that Timanovskaya was granted a Polish humanitarian visa. Later, Anatoly Kotov, a member of Belarus' opposition National Anti-Crisis Management movement and a former secretary of the Belarusian National Olympic Committee, said that the sprinter is likely to arrive in Warsaw on Wednesday.